Nicely said: Google Maps for mobile with voice search on BlackBerry Pearl

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 | 8:33 AM



On the Google Maps for mobile team we're always experimenting with new technologies, so we're happy to announce that we've started testing voice search as a new feature. Starting today, you can speak your business query instead of typing it on a select group of BlackBerry devices (Pearl 8110, 8120, and 8130, US only). Voice search in Google Maps uses the same speech recognition engine as GOOG-411, our free directory assistance service.

Using your voice to search for businesses is super useful in situations when you can't type, when the name of the business is long, or when you're not sure how to spell it. In other situations -- when you're in a library or a rock concert, for example -- typing makes more sense. Keeping that in mind, we designed this feature to allow you to choose whether to speak or type. Get it now on your BlackBerry Pearl by visiting http://m.google.com/maps on your mobile phone, or learn more here.

Using voice search is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Press "0" to center the map view around your location
  2. Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you're looking for (for example, "pizza")
  3. When you're done speaking, release the left-side key, and our voice recognition technology will figure out your request and find the business you've been looking for, no typing needed.




This feature is experimental, which means a couple of things. First, similar to other voice-recognition technologies, the accuracy of voice recognition will improve over time as more people use the voice search feature. Second, the feature is currently only supported on 8110, 8120 and 8130 BlackBerry Pearl models in the US. Third, we'd love to get your feedback on it -- feel free to leave your comments below.

Update (8/12/08): we've been busy fixing bugs and adding support for BlackBerry 8100, so now voice search works on all Pearl devices. Hopefully, this will resolve any issues some of you might have had before. You can check out the updated version from any BlackBerry Pearl device in the US -- point your mobile browser to http://m.google.com/maps

60 comments:

FredB said...

In the US only? "Pizza" should tested in Italy. "Wine" should be tested in France! :-) Can't wait for the service to be featured on Curve devices. European ones I mean...
Fred

The Clement Clan's Wife said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blackberry Gtd said...

Google guys, add support for the Curves 8300,8310 especially this one since it has the gps chip

thanks

incomm said...

I'm currently on version 2.2.0.
when i tried to upgrade this morning I still get 2.2.0 and the left
side button doesn't prompt me for voice. which version allows voice
prompts for search?

Erik said...

I'm having a little trouble with the new version as well....it won't locate me any more (just stays on searching).

I have 2.2.1 and when I press the left button it launches my contacts (which is what I have it defined as in my keyboard options).

Awesome feature though...excited to see it in action!

Brian said...

Unless I'm missing something, the new feature (voice search) does not work as advertised. As erik said, pushing the left-side convenience key simply launches whatever application you have it set to launch.

Voice search will be a fantastic addition to Google Maps, but right now it does not work.

Wyatt Neal said...

Here's hoping you'll be out with a Symbian/S60 version in the future :-)

Dan Neal said...

Great feature. Make it avilable for the UK too though please. (On sony ericsson and iPhone)

Chris said...

+128453752 for adding support for the Curve. PLEASE!!!!

Mark Phillip said...

This doesn't seem to be working for anyone.

Update, please?

The Google Mobile Team said...

Hi all, thanks for your comments.

Please note that this experimental feature is currently limited to BlackBerry Pearl models 8110, 8120, and 8130, and is only available in the US. If your left side convenience key does not activate the voice search feature, then it's not yet available for your device. We hope to expand support in the future.

Edgar said...

Hello, great app but I cannot get the voice service to activate. I have 8130(Sprint)and have changed my left key back to default(voice dialing). It activates voice signal and not the voice service of google maps 2.2.1 after step 1. Also tried setting the left key to google maps.

Any help would be appreciated.

Alan said...

It works great for me. I was going to suggest that you add voice searches to the search history so that they can be repeated easily, but I see you have already thought of that.

The first time I ran the new version it asked me for permission to create a udp connection to 216.239.51.126. This made me a little bit suspicious, and I stopped to verify that this address belonged to google before continueing. It would be nice if this connection was made using a name rather than an IP address so that it is clear that it is a google server that is being accessed.

Matthias said...

Sounds really great! Bring it to Europe as soon as possible. There are some BlackBerry-Users over here, too.

larry44 said...

I think there's going to be a convenience key conflict. I have Vlingo installed (works great, BTW!) and it requires setting "nothing" to the left key, and then using Vlingo settings to set that key for voice. Having done that, I doubt I can use the Google voice feature.

Also, for those that have the right model and are in the US, just for the heck of it, try going into BB Options and set Keyboard/Screen to "nothing" on your handset and then see if Google has an app-specific voice setting. Maybe not, but that's what Vlingo needs.

Good luck! I'm sticking with Vlingo!

Erik said...

I am using the 8130...still not working using the left convenience key.

I tried a number of settings from screen/keyboard but still won't work. Setting the button as "nothing" does....nothing :-) Setting it as anything else launches what ever app right over the GMM app.

It's a Sprint 8130 with GMM 2.2.1

John Walsh said...

Verizon 8130...cannot always find my location nor does the left voice button do anything but bring up the Voice Command prompt. version 2.2.1 (dc-web)

David said...

Updated to 2.2.1 on my VZ 8130, same problems as everyone else...convenience key brings up my messages, not google voice recognition. Sounds like a great idea, hope y'all can get it fixed.

Steve said...

Verizon 8130 with GMaps 2.2.1 installed. Left button is set-up as app switcher. Same thing as many, left button does not work as described within GMaps.

Phillip said...

SUPPORT FOR THE 8820!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ben said...

I have an 8130 on Verizon and have reassigned the left button to another function. When I get to Step 2, the function that I have remapped to is activated, not the voice feature. I tried reassigning voice dialing to the left key, reinstalling GMM, and going through the process again, but rather than taking my voice and turning it into a search within GMM, I was simply put in touch with the entry that I have in my address book for pizza just like I would if I were trying to use ... the ... voice... dial feature.
It seems that GMM isn't hooking the voice input from the Voice Dialing app.

Phillip said...

Works just fine on my T-Mobile 8120. I am pretty impressed with this.

Mike said...

I thought "sweet", until I realized my 8100 Pearl wasn't on the supported devices list, yet???

Sam said...

Hey google! you should really update this article to not list the 8130 when it clearly does not work. Or at least it does not work for me, and every other 8130 user (sprint or verizon) that has posted.

OR

just make it work and we will all be sooo much happier :)

Chellie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mark said...

I'm not sure what you VZW users are doing wrong. Try redownloading it. I just downloaded and installed it a few minutes ago and it works great! The only thing I had to change was the Media Access, but Google prompted it needed access, I didn't have to troubleshoot it.

John said...

Just like all the others with VZW 8130 it doesn't work.

Patrick Tescher said...

Any idea why the 8100 is not supported? Its basically the same phone as the 8110 without the GPS.

Chellie said...

I love it. Couldn't get it to work at first on my T-Mobile 8120 because I had switched the convenience key so I switched it back to default and all is well. Who needs a GPS receiver when I've got this!

Adam said...

Updated to 2.2.1 via the Google App Updater and the left convenience key launches the app assigned to it instead of doing a voice search on my VzW 8130.

Terry said...

Same here with my Sprint 8130. I have looked at multiple BB forums and can't find any success of this on any brand of 8130. Looks like we will have to wait.

Tim said...

Same here. VZW 8130. Tried multiple downloads, adjusting application permissions, changing the convenience key, everything. Still no go on the 8130.

Boo. This would have been a fun toy.

Mark said...

Sprint 8130 here, same problem; left convienence just opens up whatever it's programmed for. The maps portion of the software works, but no voice available. I think it was a bit pre-mature for this release!

Dan Urdaneta said...

Not working for me either with a VZW 8130. Plus the link on the origonal site to send a link to your phone doesn't work for me FYI.

Dan Urdaneta said...

I actually just got it to work by putting this link in my phones browser http://www.google.com/gmm/apps/v2.2.1/en/BlackBerry-42/GoogleMaps.jad?make=BlackBerry&model=43&ver=v2.2.1&source=mobileproducts&hl=en&noss=1 and downloading it. Yet, now I have another problem where when I try to use it says that "Google Maps can't connect. Try to hold the (left convenience key in a picture)and say business name, example: Luca's pizza, or type of business, example: florist"

Dave T. said...

I have a VZW 8130. I downloaded GMM 2.2.1, and the voice feature does not work as advertised. Maybe it's important to note that my BB is connected to a BES Server. Just wondering if any security permissions would prevent the app from working. Does anyone from Google read these posts? Please respond that you are at least working to solve the problem...obviously one exists if only a handful of folks claims that their installation worked.

Anthony said...

Pearl 8130
V2.2.1
Left button set to:
- voice dialing
- nothing
- google maps

Nothing works. Sounds like a great feature! Hope it works soon!

Ben said...

I currently use Yahoo! One Search w/voice capability and have hit or miss experience with it, but would definitely enjoy trying Google Maps w/voice.

I'm on Verizon and own a Blackberry Curve 8330 with OS 4.3.

Let me know when you release it for the Curve!

Corey Hammond said...

Can we get some clarification from the Google team. Seems like a lot of people are unable to get the voice feature to work. Is this something you guys are finding that isnt working? Is there a solution to fix it or update coming?

Anthony said...

I used the link that Dan Urdaneta supplied and downloaded to my AT&T 8100 Pearl, OS 4.2.1, no GPS, just cell tower location...works like a charm with no problems!!!

braxtoq said...

Downloaded twice on Verizon BB 8130, takes longer to find my location now and I cannot get the voice feature to work, left convenience button is at default for voice dialing, pressing and holding while in Google Maps just does what it always has,activate voice dialing, what's Up?

braxtoq said...

Is anyone from Google monitoring this dialog? I would appreciate a response either pointing me to a resolution or just indicating "Hey, we don't know what to tell you, it's beta and you're on your own!

Corey Hammond said...

I agree...I posted days ago for a response and havent seen one yet.

Lawrence Chang said...

Thank you all for the comments. As this is an experimental version of the product, reading your feedback is very helpful for us. Yes, we are working on this and hope to have another update for you soon. In the mean time, please leave any more detailed comments regarding your 8130 experiences in our discussion forum.

Thanks,

Lawrence (on behalf of the Google mobile team)

Rachelle Handley said...

This is incredible. I hope Google roles it out to the BB Curve as well!
It was only a matter of time until Google started competing with Garmin :-) And thank you for always saving us money on these silly monthly subscriptions.

Now your next feat should be providing free Satellite Radio :-)

Lee, Jack P. P.E. said...

Incredible? Awesome?

LiveSearch and Tellme has had voice command for months. On curve devices too. Google is late to the party but I look forward to their implementation.

Rachelle Handley said...

Jack, Thank you! I have just downloaded TellMe and am eager to use this application.

Spekx said...

Wow... I really think I need to get a Blackberry instead of my WM6 device.

You know, one great thing for you guys to develop would be a 'Send my location as SMS' button. So many phones have GPS these days - it would be so cool to send your location (ie. coordinates in a URL) as a text, and then my friend be able to click it and see it on their phone (running GMM, of course).

That would really help viral spread, as well ;-)

D

Frank said...

It would seem that Google Maps won't recognize the proper OS version on CDMA phones, such as Alltel, Verizon and Sprint. Help reports the OS as 4.2, and the 8130 Pearl shipped with 4.3.

John Walsh said...

I also have a Verizon 8130 with 4.3, but like Frank helps reports:

BlackBerry-8130_v4_2

When it goes to download it does recognize that I have 4.3.

tg3girls said...

I purchased a BB Pearl from Verizon in June '08. I downloaded G-Maps v2.21. I have 2 issues: "My Location" currently shows me about 2 miles in the city from my current location; no matter what option I select for the left key (from the screen/key option), I cannot get the voice recognition. I look forward to the fully functional application. I cannot get MS Live on this system as I think Verizon will not allow this application. Thanks

Lee, Jack P. P.E. said...

tg3girls...

May not be an application problem. Verizon cripples their phones + mobile devices so while your phone may have GPS capability, Verizon has locked it so only their navigation app can access it (for a fee). While Verizon may have the best network, their devices have been crippled.

Edgar said...

Version: 2.2.2 (#2229), Platform: BB-8130_v4_2. After I reinstalled 2.2.2 again and changing my left key back to voice dialing, it still would only activate Sprint's VD. After reading verizon pearl users saying that this version works, I tried resetting google maps under help menu. This did the trick! I was not only able to activate google's voice recording but was also able to change my left convenience key back to app switcher. So far I'm pretty impressed w/ the accuracy of my voice searches. Great job! =)

braxtoq said...

OK, now I have it working on my Pearl 8130 from Verizon, I uninstalled version 2.2.1, navigated to http://m.google.com/maps?dc=gmm on the BB browser, clicked on "Install Now" selected the check box for "set application permission" and then "Download". When the application permissions window opens, I selected "Allow" for "Media Access", "KeyStroke Injection" "Browser Filtering" and Screen Capturing", probably just need Media Access for it work, I also had switched the default setting for the Left Convenience Key to "Search" but changed it back to Voice Dialing after loading Google Maps again. If you wait until Google Maps has loaded and you change the default permissions for Google Maps after it has been opened, you''ll have to close it and restart for the permissions to take effect. Good Luck!

tg3girls said...

re from braxtoq method: I now have it working on my Pearl 8130 from Verizon, I followed the uninstall. My phone would navigate to this website: http://m.google.com/maps?dc=gmm but the file wanted to download as a cab file and only wanted to install on the media card. I never found the icon on the home screen nor did I find Google Maps in the application file. I was successful in redownloading Google Maps from Google Updater. I restarted my phone, went to profiles--> advanced options--> applications--> and edited permissions to allow connections, interactions, and user data. I did not get these aformentioned messages at all anywhere in the download: "When the application permissions window opens, I selected "Allow" for "Media Access", "KeyStroke Injection" "Browser Filtering" and Screen Capturing", probably just need Media Access for it work, I also had switched the default setting for the Left Convenience Key to "Search" but changed it back to Voice Dialing after loading Google Maps again" Bottom line, I was able to perform voice activation on Google Maps with the left convenience key in this application (the left convenience key is assigned to "browser" when on the home screen. Thanks to all who contributed to our knowledge and execution this task!

R. Richard Hobbs said...

After I downloaded the most recent version of Google Maps (2.2 I think) to my 8130 / Verizon, when I fired it up and got the media access error, I did a Google and found a clue on Crackberry http://tinyurl.com/654pyd - After a bit of putzing around searching the 8130 menus, I was able to setup my Google Maps Voice Search on my like so:

Home Screen / Options / Advanced Options / Applications / Google Maps / (Ribbon / Blackberry Key) Edit Permissions / Interactions / permission was set to "custom" (default?) change to "allow" - now it works! :-)

ppoo said...

what a bummer
I have a Blackberry Curve 8320 that had ver 2.2.2 and voice search worked great...

I upgraded to this version to get street level and now pushing the voice button goes straight to voice dialing....did voice search just go away?

Vasundhar said...

One Important feature I think is missing in Mobile Maps as of now is
Ability to add new content from mobile.

I think this will give more power to the tool, and will help in rectifying the minor calculation errors happening in location display when the mobile location works only from Towers.

Javier said...

is there a way that the gps can be set to always be on instead of having to turn it on every time the app is opened.

Joy said...

I have an 8130 and I could not get it to work either. I tried what R. Richard Hobbs suggested above which was going to Home Screen / Options / Advanced Options / Applications / Google Maps / (Ribbon / Blackberry Key) Edit Permissions / Interactions / permission was set to "custom" (default?) change to "allow". Now it is working for me!